Sunday we planted our first patch of Sweet Corn. I have been desperately trying to find a good "cold soil vigor" sweet corn to come up early in our area. So far I have not been successful. This year will be our fourth variety at early July corn. It was supposed to be planted last week, but due to a broken machine we had to wait. Saturday we prepped the field and finished spreading the lime. Saturday night we pulled out the John Deere 1240 corn planter and got it all set up. Sunday morning we got to plant. Of course there was an ealry break of the planter, but after replacing a cotter pin we were good to go. I planted 560 dozen ears of Sweet Chorus, an early vigor white corn. From now until July 8 we will be planting 400-600 dozen ears of corn a week to have a steady supply of our sweet corn. We have been very fortunate to have customers that support us with our corn business. Last year was our best year to date. We look forward to another 12 weeks of great tasting corn this year. July 15 should be the start; running all the way to Sept. 18. We will also be planting my favorite, Harris 1001, a super sweet bicolor corn and the standby of silver king. Freezer corn will also be available. Coming back this year will be our surprisingly popular popcorn. That will go in the ground next weekend.
Certainly the weather plays a big role in our crops. Yesterday as I was planting the corn, it began to snow. We have harvested corn in October snow before, but never have I planted in it. We currently have about 900 broccoli plants in the ground. Broccoli is said to be very cold hardy and can survive a good frost. I guess we will see about that as it was 31 degrees at 4:45 am here this morning. Our peas and lettuce are doing fantastic after the rain. We got about 3/4 of an inch total, but it was needed to pop them up.
After school (work) today the cows will move across the driveway to new grass. They will be happy to go. I seeded a field last summer that has sprouted some thick clover. I just hope they are smart enough to know when to stop munching. Cows, not being the most intelligent, tend to over eat legumes and bloat. After that move, about 4 days, they will move out to the back pasture for a good 3 weeks of daily rotations.
We have 2 batches of broilers in the barn. The first is ready to move to pasture as soon an the weather breaks again. They are now 4 weeks old and feathered out. They will spend 3.5 weeks on grass then be processed. We get shipments of chicks every three weeks. We have only about 65 left to sell for the year.
The new processing building is taking shape. We are finishing the drywall inside now and will be putting in the sinks and counters soon. It will be an all-summer process as we are busy, but I look forward to seeing it take final shape. We will wash eggs/veggies to prep for sale in the front and be processing and bagging our chickens in the back.
We had added one greenhouse last fall that the chickens overwintered in and will be adding a Haygrove Hightunnel house this summer to extend our growing season right through DECEMBER this year. Imagine, home grown lettuce, carrots, beets, etc. during the holiday season! That will be a great addition to our program. Haygrove is a PA company, based in the Lancaster area. I am glad to be able to support our local businesses. They also sell high quality tunnels and theirs was the only one that I was convinced could weather our wind and snow.